‘Become a blood donor’ was my new year’s resolution this year and also what inspired me to do this challenge.
I have wanted to donate blood for years and years, and have attempted more than a dozen times in various countries. Alas, every time I have gone there has been one reason or the other why I have been unable to give blood (I had a cold, I’d recently been pierced, I’d traveled to a high-risk country, my weight, my iron levels… the list goes on).
Today I went to the blood donor clinic. I was prepared. While I was pregnant I had lost a lot of weight and had very low iron levels, but the whole year I have been building my strength to make sure I’d be able to meet all the criteria required from donors. Now, I was ready and eager to give blood, after so many failed attempts and years of waiting.
But it was not to be.
Because I lived in the UK during the time of BSE, theoretically my blood could be contaminated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (I say theoretically because the overall chance is very low anyway, plus I do/did not even consume any cow products). And because of this, I am not permitted to give blood in New Zealand (and most other countries).
The good news is once a way to test for CJD is found, I will be contacted to start donating blood. However, this test is probably still several years away from being made.
So, I counted this as an act because I am on the blood donor register… my donations are just pending (because of reasons beyond my control)
One blood donation can save up to 3 lives.